Don’t Feed the Chickens!

The City of Key West and the Key West Wildlife Center have been working together for 11 years to reduce the number of feral chickens roaming our streets, but we need your help. Since 2009, nearly 15,000 birds have been relocated to the mainland. But still the numbers continue to rise.

According to The Wildlife Center, one of the main problems that keeps our chicken population booming is people feeding them. The City and the Wildlife Center are imploring people to stop feeding the chickens.

According to City code, it is only legal to feed birds that are penned, and they can only be fed within the pens. Feeding chickens on the streets and alleyways violates the city ordinances and causes a nuisance for your neighbors.

Although the Wildlife Center does not trap chickens, they can provide loaner traps with a small deposit. Still, trapping a group of birds will do no good if people continue to feed in the area. A new group of birds will move in, drawn by the easy meal. And those chickens will continue a legacy of crowing all night and tearing up gardens.

In 2009, when we began working together on this, there were 938 birds removed. In 2019, that number rose to over 1700.

If you do have someone in your area who is putting food out, you can contact Code Compliance at 305-809-3740, and they can help resolve the problem. If you want to trap the birds, or be referred to a professional trapper, contact the Wildlife Center at 305-292-1008. The dedicated staff at the Wildlife Center can also advise you on other humane deterrents that can be deployed to discourage chickens.

If you do trap your own chickens, they must be brought to the Wildlife Center in a timely manner so that they are treated humanely and relocated to a mainland farm to live out their days.